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Let it be, let it be …

This is the first week of January and we have all heard what this year has in store for us from many fortune tellers of various different guises. Many people must have brought tiger emulates, statues, jade tiger bangles for luck. Must be careful as not only is this year the year of the tiger, it’s the year of a night tiger, hunting for preys. Nothing like being told what lies ahead especially bad news hey.

Perhaps this explains one of Thais national traits that of being nonchalant. Nothing can get at us. We just let things be and get on with our lives as we already know the outcome and if we don’t know, well we can consult the professional fortune tellers  of course. Failing that just sing this well known mantra,

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..

Being in Thailand of course this gets changed slightly,

Mai Pen Rai, Mai PenRai. Mai Pen Rai, Mai PenRai …

(Before someone accused me of mistranslating, most Thais will translate this phrase as “Never Mind!”)

Let me give you an example,

2010 Mayan prediction says the world will end this year. Shock horrors, mass prayers.

Thais say: Oh is that so, mai pen rai. Shall we party to celebrate?

Many first time visitors to Thailand will be charmed by this “Mai Pen Rai” attitude as it opposes the western conditionings of “Pen Rai” as in everything matters and matters to the extreme. We Thais are so calm, relaxed, just look at us forever smiling.  How sweet we are!  What a quaint race, … (ahem, ahem, ahem … )

That is until they decide to live in this country, this state will really grate on their nerves driving some to  intellectual frenzy,  turning them into  fulltime bloggers. I can mention a few names of course but feel that we need to0 respect their privacy.

Why do they react that way? Because we Thais are so good at not getting to the point or let alone make one. That will make most non Thais wearied and tired of trying to guess what we are hinting at. No matter how hard you try to get to know us, trying to find out what we think, how we feel on important subjects. We just smile and hide our faces. It’s like peeling onions to find that there are nothing in the middle and the peeling makes you cry!

OK some of you might say that isn’t true any more because last two years have seen the colours debates. But try this, go and ask the little people why they swear allegiance to one colour and not the other then see if you get a rational answer. Or better still try listening to the big wigs and decipher what they  say. It all sounds good right but mostly devoid of meanings.

Many suggests that Mai Pen Rai attitude is born out of the Buddhist philosophical attitude of not grasping or holding but I think that makes it too simplistic. The Buddha never taught irresponsibilities but the opposite. Letting go is something that happens as a phenomenon is fully understood right to the cause therefore no need to make an issue. To Buddhist practitioners, letting go is not an avoidance but more confrontation. Needless to say that Buddhist wisdom is like a double edge sword when applies wrongly cuts deeply.

Some might say that it’s all to do with that well known pop grpup the Beatles and that infamous song of theirs which somehow mass hypnotised  Thai state of consciousness. Only jesting! But this seemed to be our theme song with the lyric reverently recited as a personal mantra in public.

Jesting aside, perhaps we should take the persona of the Chinese tiger and start to growl instead of smile when things really hit us hard. Perhaps we should  show our true feelings instead of suppressing or saving this for a private audience. Mai Pen Rai then can be a state that we arrived at and felt instead of becoming something we uttered out of the sake of politeness and good breeding.

Yes some Thais are truly forgiving and practice “Mai Pen Rai” philosophy and mean it. But the majority is who I’m addressing here.

This year things will start to Pen Rai and we should start to make efforts to show that it really does matter.  My New Year resolution for our beloved country and for all who lives here. Lets adopt the tiger trait by  sensitive to our surroundings and be vigilant!


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Outsourced Pregnancy, No pain, You gain!

I walked into the office this morning, picked up my free copy of the Express, my coffee and sat down for  breakfast before tackling another week of work.

 The photo on the Front page captured my attention, a happy Oriental couple holding a very contented baby with an Indian lady.  Then I read the  caption which totally made me feel quite dazed!  Outsouced Pregnancies, are you for real?

A Bangkok-based company has gone on the Internet offering the service of surrogate mothers despite there being no law -as yet -that allows the practice of ‘outsourced pregnancies’

I had to look up the clinic on the Internet and got very confused.

The website is called babe 101 which in a literal sense, quite apt! Yet the media refers to this clinic which must have come from the web add, as Babe 1001. What with the extra ‘0′? But that is the least of my concern here.

This is a Taiwanese owned business that tried to escape from the Taiwanese legal loop hole by setting  up the clinic outside Taiwan. Read this, from their FAQ,

Where is your Taiwan branch? What is the address ?
For now, surrogacy in Taiwan is legal, but illegal for commercial surrogacy agency; for this, we set reception offices in Bangkok, Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. And contact office in Viet-Nam(you may refer to phone/e-mail to contact us or visit us in person !)We have been doing our best to strengthen our credibility, to complete clients’ request and maintain our reputation is the prime guideline we have reserved.
In Taiwan, we are now consulting with attorney to set an office to provide more service; also we get ready to apply a legal surrogacy agency in Taiwan asap while restriction has been removed.

The poor English makes this even harder to accept! But there is more,

Why should I need surrogate mother ? What’s the advantage of surrogate mother for surrogate births?
  1. Choosing a health and young woman, it can provide the baby a superior environment of birth.
  2. Female of consignors can get rid of any inconvenience and uncomfortableness.
  3. The consignors can continue to work without worrying about losing job or business intermission. It is quite suitable for the women who desire to have kids but no time for pregnancy.
  4. Unnecessary to fear birth pangs.
  5. Unnecessary to worry about out of shapes on stature; neither to fear the intimacy fading with husband.
  6. Embryo selecting can pick up the best quality one to implant into young and health surrogate mother. The finest combination surely makes you be more confident to your child.
  7. Without sufferings birth pangs、out of shape, no intermission on business or job. However the baby is 100% blood relationship with you.
  8. Under extremely strict control and selecting in all process, it is much higher possibility to have outstanding than normal.
  9. No descends is somewhat a regret for one’s family, with our assistance, you can successfully carry on.

The word “mother” is no longer apt and they are now  referred to here as “the female consignor“, the birth process has no sacred value and consigned to a business transaction! This demeans the whole principle of  family!

Infertility is a sad medical condition for couples that wish to start a family. The process of discovering that you are infertile is a painful and traumatic one. Therefore, a chance to become parents to these couples will seem  god-sent. But to actually make this,  a commercial transaction,  is highly unethical. Not only to the couple but also to the surrogate mothers.

In plain English, the blurb means,

You can have someone else get pregnant on your behalf at a fee. The  benefits are:

  •  don’t have to look unsightly or suffer the birth pain,  not to mention the illness of pregnancy!
  • can still carry on working!
  • can carry on having sexual pleasure without the interruption of a pregnancy!

 A friend of mine said that means sex will be for pleasure only and not procreation! Now tell me if you agree, is this highly unethical or what!


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The Floating Bookshop Comes to Thailand!

Have no plan on this weekend?

Then experience a floating bookshop on the Doulos before she heads to somewhere else.

Where?

Call a taxi or drive to Klongtoey port, port no. 1.

See here: http://maps.google.co.th/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=th&gl=th&q=klongtoey+port&ie=UTF8&sll=13.724451,100.550272&sspn=0.051097,0.100613&ei=jHSLSrSRHaCgjQPIvMDvDg&cd=1&usq=klongtoey+port&geocode=FVcH0QAdk8r-BQ&cid=13843562379490902221&li=lmd

It’s not that hard!

When?

You still have time until this coming Sunday, August 23, 2009. Or if you miss this one and your money is burning a hole in your pocket, you can book a ticket and fly to Kota Kinabalu , its upcoming port in Malaysia! Who care?

I think it’s not a waste of your time to learn more about Doulos here: http://www.mvdoulos.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=147&Itemid=202

Since I’d been there already, I don’t mind to show you some of my pics on board.

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Here it is in print: What Thai Girls Look for in a Foreign Guy

Most Wanted by Thai Women

Most Wanted by Thai Women

Bangkok Diary recent blog entitled Hot or Not? What Thai Girls Look for in a Foreign Guy which at a glance, suggests that Thai girls (the under 30’s) are only interested in tall, well built, well dressed guy but failing that a farang ATM machine. 

Here it is, read it, cringe,  and tell me if you agree that Danny of Bangkok Diary is equally empty headed as the Thai girls he claimed to have studied!

1. The Vin Diesel type is better off staying at Home as  Thai girl is fairly short and as thin as a stick – she’d probably be terrified of someone Vin Diesel’s size! 

2. The Clothes Make The Man -the average Thai male will be wearing nice shoes, designer jeans, and a stylist dress shirt. So follow suit and you will instantly be elevating yourself above 90% of the foreigners in Thailand, and receiving much more attention from the opposite sex to boot.

3. Skin Colour Does Matter – in Thailand, people are judged all the time based on skin tone.  The whiter the skin, the more attractive, wealthy, and elite a person is perceived to be!

4. Loose the Beer Gut – fitter guys appear younger, healthier, and generally more desirable to Thai girls!

5. When All Else Fails (None of the above: ATM card at the ready!)

This listis all about appearance and money! This goes to show that Danny only knows the type of girls that money can buy!

Yes, Thai society seems to judge most by face values, something I’m sadly disappointed with. But just think  about this if beautiful Thai women are willing to give their lives up for fat, greedy, nerdy as well as needy farang guys with money then why not, good luck to them I say.

Another blogger at Leosia, also commented on this article and summed up by saying,

In Thai culture it is “what you look like” and “what you have” which is considered important, not “who you are”. This has important repercussions for how westerners interact and present themselves – and often results in misunderstandings as to the true nature of a relationship.

Now you girls out there, of course I’m referring to you Thai girls out there, what do you think about all this? Are the farangs right? Are we superficial and do we choose to date farang because … and  according to Danny again,

The majority of Thai guys tend to be short, thin, and somewhat effeminate.  Foreigners, on the other hand, tend to be taller, heavier built, and more masculine …

 So are you BF’s Thai or farang?  Tell us why you date them and are we that superficial?


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Don’t Let Jealousy Get the Best of You

When the red and yellow teams get diminished from the limelight. We now have another talk of the town: the panda team and the elephant team. Some people stirs thing up when it seems like the two panda Chuang Chuang and Linhui and their unnamed baby steal all the attention. The elephant lovers then come up with a mocking idea. Elephants’re disguised as pandas! Ouch! That hurts!

Thanks for photo from matichon online


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Remember Those Days: Maana Maanee Piti Chuujai

  maana maanee  
 

Nostalgia attacks me out of the blue when I read a Thai topic in pantip.com http://www.pantip.com/cafe/chalermthai/topic/A7885426/A7885426.html
It’s about a Thai study guide for elementary school students called ‘Maana Maanee Piti Chuujai’ A weird name. Right? The book’s name simply comes from four main characters in the book.

It’s strange that the book was nothing to me back then when I was an elementary school girl. My only feeling for it was that it was sooo heavy for my small body when I had to carry it, together with other text books, with me every morning to school. It’s even more strange that now I miss it dearly.
I miss Manee, the girl main character of the book, her brother Mana, and their dog Chao Dho.
I miss Chuujai, Manee’s best friend and her cat See Thao.
I miss its vivid color cover.
I miss the page that I dropped my milk on it.
I miss the funny story that made me feel more like reading fiction rather than text book.

I owe them a lot.
Without them, I can’t read, nor write. And they turned my boring Thai class into something fun and entertaining.
Thanks a lot. Maana, Maanee and the gang for being my lifeless yet lively friends.


Note:
‘Maana Maanee Piti Chuujai’ is an illustrated book series used as a Thai study handbook for elementary school during 1978 – 1994. The story is composed by a teacher Ratchanee Sripraiwan and the illustrations are provided by Khun Trium Chachumphon, a well-known cartoonist from Chaipruk Cartoon.